This form of proportional representation is also called preference voting and is practised in a few countries, including Australia and Ireland. In Ireland the system involves multi-seat constituencies, so it works on the basis of a quota rather than a simple majority. The quota for each constituency is calculated according to the following formula:

Quota = (Total Valid Poll / (Number of seats + 1) ) + 1

If no candidate reaches the quota, the lowest candidate(s) are eliminated as described above. However, if a candidate surpasses the quota, he/she is elected, and his/her surplus votes are distributed to the next choice on each ballot.

It takes forever to count, but allows for a truly representative democracy.

The following is a summary of the arguments in favour of PR/STV taken from

  • STV does more than other systems to guarantee that everyone gets their views represented in parliament and that they have a say in what is done by their elected representatives. STV is the best option for:
    • Putting the power in the hands of the voters.
    • Keeping MPs linked to the people who voted for them. Most voters can identify a representative that they personally helped to elect and can feel affinity with. Such a personal link also increases accountability.
    • Making parliament reflect the views of the voters.
  • Only a party or coalition of parties, who could attract more than 50% of the electorate could form a government. Any changes would have to be backed by a majority since public opinion is reflected fairly in elections under STV. This is far more important than that a government should be formed by only one political party.
  • It enables the voters to express opinions effectively. Voters can choose between candidates within parties, demonstrating support for different wings of the party. Voters can also express preferences between the abilities or other attributes, of individual candidates.
  • It is simple for voters to use.
  • There is no need for tactical voting . Voters can cast a positive vote and know that their vote will not be wasted whatever their choice is.
  • It produces governments that are strong and stable because they are founded on the majority support of the electorate.